Sunday, January 10, 2010


"Devastation" is a noun with two definitions. 1] The act of devastating, destruction, and 2] Devastated state; desolation. Displayed on the same page as devastation is the verb "devastate," which also has two meaning. 1] To lay waste, destroy, 2] To overwhelm, confound, stun.

Both words hold a massive connotation to today's society. The word barely ripples in the pool of my soul and I think of the tragedies that we have suffered. The attacks on the Twin Towers, Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami of 2oo4 that killed over 230,000 people. And those are just a few of the major ones. What about the Boston Red Sox fans that were devastated when their prized team didn't even make it to the World Series of 2oo9? What about the Philly's fans that were so sure they were going to win it? And even smaller than that. What about the man who was just diagnosed with AIDS? What about the father who just buried his mother? What about the girl who just found out her boyfriend is cheating on her? What about the boy who just got rejected from his first choice college? What about the woman who didn't get pregnant again? Devastation it seems, takes many forms.

I am sure that everyone who has the capabilities to read this blog has been devastated at sometime or another in their life. Me? I was devastated when my so-called "friends" betrayed me. I was devastated when my dog, a beautiful golden retriever named Logan, was diagnosed with cancer, and to save him, we had to have a very expensive surgery performed. I had just gotten into college, and my family couldn't afford it. To save the beloved dog from months of pain and suffering, we had him put to sleep. I was devastated, and worse, I believed it to be my fault. I was devastated when my first boyfriend and I broke up. I was devastated when my second boyfriend and I broke up. But these were all small devastation's (more like disappointments in retrospect) and eventually I got over them, but at the time, my heart felt like it would never be whole again.

I have a friend, who was let down by their friends. The individual in question, is devastated. They are all still friends, but that doesn't help the disappointment of expecting certain people do do certain things and then having them fall through. Without warning, devastation can strike. I actually just got off the phone with another friend of mine, who informed me that yesterday, they were involved in a terrible car accident. The friend in question, is fine but the others involved in the car accident are not fine by any means. I was told that as the accident happened, my friend happened to glance into the car of the person who caused the accident (the car in front of my friend swerved into the lane of oncoming traffic), and literally saw the individuals eyes roll into the back of their head. My friend found out later that the person that they observed fainting or whatever it may have been, died in the hospital. I was told that it was a boy. Not a man, but a boy. He will have to be buried by his parents. That is devastation right there. And the saddest part is, things like that happen every day and go unnoticed by people who aren't involved directly. How many times have you been sitting in your car and been passed by a funeral procession? Do you ever stop to think how that person died?

Death, I think, is the ultimate devastator. No one knows what happens after you die. No one can truly say for sure. Yes, we all have our opinions, heaven, hell, purgatory, nothing-- but the truth is, no one knows. There is nothing as dividing as death, and the devastation it leaves in it's wake has an invisible ripple effect that I feel, goes farther than people acknowledge. I don't know the boy who died in that car accident, but I feel for him. I feel sad for him, and his friends and family. True, I'm glad it wasn't my friend, because then it would be me feeling that direct devastation, but that boy is best friends to someone. And that boy has a mother, and father who love him. Maybe he has a sister, brother, girlfriend. I've lost people close to me to death. I know what that sorrow and devastation feels like.

Devastation is a word I think that people do not use lightly. When someone or something has been devastated you automatically know that something horrible has happened. The degree of devastation can be simple, or magnified intensely by the result of what has happened. Maybe people left behind will recover from it. Maybe they wont. The Tsunami of 2oo4? Not only were the people destroyed, but the land was devastated as well. The same thing goes for Hurricane Katrina. I believe, however, that things can come back better than they were before, if only given the chance to grow. (And yes, I recently watched Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, and if anyone else has watched it... you'll know the scene I've referenced.... and if you'd like to see it here is the link to the portion of the video, provided by . . . It's about a minute into this video.) People reached out to help in those tragic natural disasters.

And maybe it's not nature that does the devastation. Maybe it's a person. A man walks into a diner and kills 13 people and then himself (not an actual situation. . . that I know of ). His actions have devastated everyone who was there, everyone who is related to or know someone who was there. The ripple effect begins. The man who killed those people, his family is devastated by what he's done. Shocked and devastated. The people who know his family are devastated. The people that work with the man at his office job, are devastated. The people who work with the people he worked with, are devastated. The people he killed? The same goes for all of them. And of course now there's a news crew involved. Local news. Everyone in the town is devastated. A woman in her house realises that one of the people that was murdered worked at the grocery store she shops at and always bagged her groceries how she preferred, paper and plastic, without asking. Local news reaches to state news. The state is devastated. Someone twelve towns away realises that the man who shot those people, why... her sister dated him for a month in high school! State news reaches national news, as tragedies such as these always manage to do. The nation is devastated that one man could cause all this sorrow. Of course, degrees of sorrow will vary from person to person. The people who hear about it on the national news, they'll probably forget about it soon enough. The people in the state? It might remain in their memory for a while longer. But the people who were there-- the people who knew someone who was there, it may not fade from their memory for a long, long time.

But eventually people recover. Memories fade. Hatred and anger seems meaningless after such a long time. The wound has healed, and you never even noticed that the scar vanished. You just realise one day, that you're not angry anymore. That shit happens. And you can either learn from it, or dwell on it. Personally, I'd rather learn from the past and move on. What use is having an experience if it just halts your progress as a human being? Devastation, I'm sad to say, is something that I've come to discover as a part of life.

A cardinal flew into my window yesterday. Beautiful, crimson cardinal fell dead in the snow. His mate was in the dogwood tree in the front yard. She was there this morning when I woke up. She will be there all day. I will continue to see this widowed bird for weeks to come. I know I will. Cardinals mate for life. I can only imagine the devastation she must feel, having watched her scarlet soul mate die at the hands of transparency.

Devastation, small or large, is something I wish upon none of you. But having said it is a part of life, it will happen. It has happened. And I wish that for the future, when it happens again, you all know that there is a chance. A chance that what's left behind can grow better than the generation before. It just might take some time.


Daniel Melville said...

i love what you've written so far! hopefully the people who start following you later will get a chance to read the first blogs